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Alarm Purse 


Make Projects 

build, hack, tweak, share, discover,^ 

Alarm Purse 

Written By: Norene Leddy 


Chalk (1) 

Knife (1) 


Leather punch (1) 

Lighter (1) 

Paper clip (1) 

Pencil (1) 
for patterns 

Ruler (1) 

Sewing machine (1) 

Soldering iron (1) 


Wire stripper (1) 



• Scraps (1) 

to match or contrast with purse 

Scraps (1) 


Barge cement (1) 

or other heavy-duty glue for leather 

Piezo Siren audible alarm (1) 
RadioShack part #273-079 or similar 
from All Electronics 
(http://allelectronics. com) 

Battery (1) 

Snap connector (1) 
RadioShack #270-325 or similar 

Switch (1) 

RadioShack #275-1565, All Electronics 

#PB-166, or similar 

Heat-shrink tubing (1) 
RadioShack #278- 1611 or similar 


© Make Projects 

Page 1 of 8 

Alarm Purse 

Thread (1) 


By Norene Leddy with Ed Bringas and Johana Moscoso 

The Alarm Purse is a simple, fashionable way to add an audible alarm to your handbag. Tuck 
it away when you don't need it (so it won't go off by accident) and quickly hook it up when 
you do. 

The latest addition to the ongoing Aphrodite Project , the DIY Alarm Purse is part of a series 
of artworks and DIY projects that draw on the innovations of the courtesans of antiquity to 
improve the conditions of 21st-century women — empowering everyone with tools they can 
make to stay safe. 

Step 1 — Make the alarm. 

• Place the piezo siren inside the 
purse facing outward, allowing it to 
rest on the bottom. Measure the 
distance from the top of the siren to 
where the switch feels comfortable 
to hold. The top of the siren will be 
about 3" from the bottom of the 

© Make Projects 

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Alarm Purse 

Step 2 

• Cut 2 lengths of 22-gauge wire long enough to connect the siren to the switch, and strip 
both ends of each wire. Solder 2 ends to the terminals of the switch. 

• If you're using a larger switch with holes in the terminals, thread the exposed wire ends 
through the holes in the metal switch terminals, then twist, as the second photo. 

© Make Projects 

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Alarm Purse 

Step 3 

• Cut two 1" pieces of heat-shrink tubing to cover the connections. 

• Slide the heat-shrink tubing up and shrink it around the terminals using a lighter or heat 

• If you use a lighter, move the flame quickly back and forth; don't let it rest in any one spot. 
Once the tubing has shrunk and cooled, pull gently on the wires to make sure you have a 
secure connection. 

© Make Projects 

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Alarm Purse 

Step 4 

• Cut a strip of leather to cover the wire pair, from the switch to almost the ends, leaving 
about 2" exposed. 

• Make a paper pattern first to test the fit. The leather should be approximately VA" wide at 
the top to allow for the switch, and taper down to 1 " at the bottom. 

• Fold the leather in half lengthwise and sew it together, then slide the 22-gauge wires 
through using an unbent paper clip. 

• Strip the wire ends of the snap connector and the siren, leaving V2" exposed. Attach the 
snap connector to the battery. Place a 1" length of heat-shrink tubing over the black wire 
from the siren, then twist this wire to the black wire from the snap connector. 

• Fold the twisted pair back on itself, slide the heat-shrink tubing over the connection, then 
use a lighter or heat gun to shrink the tubing around the connection. 

• Using the same method, connect one of the switch wires to the red wire on the siren, and 
connect the other switch wire to the red wire on the snap connector. Use 2 short and 2 
long pieces of heat-shrink tubing to cover as much of the exposed wire as possible. Test 
your alarm. It should be ear-piercingly loud. 

© Make Projects Page 5 of 8 

Alarm Purse 

Step 5 — Make the fabric pocket. 

Alarm Wiring Assembly and Pocket Pattern 


DO Sin! 


/Switch (SPST> 

• Use the pattern diagram above and cut 2 pieces of fabric to make the pocket: piece A for 
the top panel, and piece B for the pocket front, back, sides, and bottom. Add chalk lines for 
sewing. Sew the top fold of the pocket (B), then sew the bottom to the front, back, and 
sides of the pocket (B). Be sure to line up the chalk guidelines. 

• Next, sew 3 sides (2 long, 1 short) of the top panel (A). Fold over the edges twice for a 
nice, finished look. Fold the unsewn side of the top panel, and sew it to the side of the 
pocket. Use the pocket seam to line up the top panel. 

• Cut 3 pieces of velcro: 1 approximately 5/8"x7/8", 2 approximately 1"x5/8". The 1" pieces 
will go on the front of the pocket, and the 7/8" piece will go on the side to secure the top 
panel to the pocket. 

• Insert the alarm system into the pocket. Attach the velcro around the speaker (don't block 
it) and to the top panel. 

© Make Projects 

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Alarm Purse 

Step 6 — Attach the pocket. 

• Make a pattern first, then cut a 
patch out of matching/contrasting 
leather or vinyl, slightly larger than 
the siren speaker, with small holes 
to let the sound of the alarm out. If 
you're using a leather punch to 
make the holes, tape the pattern to 
the leather first to ensure that they 
line up. 

• Place the siren back in the pocket 
and insert it into the purse. Line up 
the pattern on the outside of the 
bag with the siren on the inside. 
Cut a hole in the bag slightly 
smaller than the pattern, to allow 
enough room to glue the patch 
along the edges. 

• Attach the velcro to the inside of 
the purse, lining up the siren 
speaker with the hole. If the velcro 
comes loose when you remove the 
pouch, you may want to sew the 
corners into the lining or glue it with 
heavy-duty adhesive. 

• Glue the leather patch over the 
hole with shoe glue or other heavy- 
duty cement. 

© Make Projects 

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Alarm Purse 

Step 7 — Try out your alarm setup! 

^^LA v 

JB^. -? 



• As the battery wears down, the 
alarm will get quieter, so be sure to 
test it before you go out. 

This project first appeared in MAKE Volume 19 , page 114. 

This document was last generated on 2012-11-03 02:40:41 AM. 

© Make Projects 

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